Ball Don't Lie
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie14 hrs ago
Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Knight is no stranger to embarrassment. He was most notably on the wrong end of DeAndre Jordan's Dunk of the Year in March 2013, but Knight also had his ankles broken by Kyrie Irving in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend a month earlier. Ask many fans about Knight's career and they might remember him as a punchline rather than a basketball player.
Yet it's also possible that these unfortunate moments in the spotlight have turned Knight into a pretty resilient young athlete. He proved that on Wednesday night in bouncing back from an embarrassing mistake that nearly cost his team a win.
With around four seconds remaining in overtime and the Bucks tied with the host Brooklyn Nets at 105-105, Knight jumped into a passing lane and picked off a pass from Joe Johnson. No one was impeding Knight's path to the hoop, which turned his breakaway into a race against time. He got to the rim and put up a simple lay-in with plenty of time to spare, but Knight's rush to the basket appeared to have put him off balance:
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
Before welcoming the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs to Quicken Loans Arena, LeBron James said the experience of leading the Cleveland Cavaliers' young stars, of teaching them about professionalism and how to win, is the greatest challenge he's faced in his Hall of Fame career. After Wednesday's contest, he'll be able to impart a particularly important lesson — how to accept responsibility for a pivotal late-game miscue.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
Indiana Pacers wing Solomon Hill entered the 2014-15 season with a chance to make a name for himself following the season-ending leg injury suffered by superstar Paul George this summer. The 23-year-old out of Arizona remains a work in progress, but he has shown plenty of reason for optimism in averaging 12.6 points over 33.7 minutes per game. It's easy to see him carving out a role on this roster moving forward.
Hill added to his case with his first career NBA game-winner in Wednesday night's game against the visiting Charlotte Hornets. With 18 seconds on the clock and the score tied 86-86, Indiana held the ball with an opportunity to take the last shot. Guard Rodney Stuckey attempted to take Lance Stephenson off the dribble, but his stepback jumper fell well short in an airball. Luckily for the Pacers, Hill was there to clean it up with an athletic buzzer-beater:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
There are no second acts in American life, but that may not be the same for the wonderful country of Canada.
Memphis Grizzlies reserve swingman Vince Carter returned to Toronto on Wednesday night in a game that pitted his Western Conference-leading squad against a just as game Toronto Raptors team. Carter, who played for the Raptors from 1999 until late 2004, has long been reviled by Raptors fans for more or less quitting on his team during his final season with the franchise, but that didn’t stop the team from launching a video tribute to the former All-Star prior to the game.
Because the tribute includes Vince Carter highlights, you have to watch:
Because Toronto is full of mensches, they stood up and applauded the man, and because Vince Carter does appropriate things, he broke down and cried as a result:
The Raptors went on to win a 96-92 contest, with Vince Carter coming off the bench to shoot 3-11 from the floor. Nobody will remember any of these numbers from Nov. 2014.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
The NFL's recent incidents and controversies involving domestic violence have put every other major sports league on notice. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has responded by handing down the league's biggest punishment for a domestic violence crime.
Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor was charged with domestic assault, assault, and malicious destruction of property in East Lansing, Mich., in late September, just days before the team opened training camp. Taylor has been barred from team activities since that date. After pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault and malicious destruction of property, Taylor has been awaiting further news from the NBA.
- Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie22 hrs ago
Every team in the league wanted LeBron James this summer, and the four-time NBA MVP chose Cleveland over Miami, because, in his words, "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball." The Cavaliers also happened to have Kyrie Irving, enough assets to acquire Kevin Love and a few other young pieces that made the city an attractive destination from a basketball perspective.
Nine games into his homecoming season, James told ESPN's Chris Broussard this is the most trying experience of a career that has seen its share of trying experiences since he entered the league in 2003.
"This is more challenging than me trying to win my first championship," James told ESPN.com on Wednesday, hours before his Cavaliers hosted the San Antonio Spurs. "Because that was a personal goal of mine. Doing this was never a goal until I decided to come back to Cleveland."
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
After a stint with the Los Angeles Clippers' Summer League squad didn't result in a domestic job offer for the season ahead, former NBA guard Delonte West decided to return to China, signing a one-year deal with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks in the hope of securing a solid payday while preparing to make another push for a return to the big show. That hoped-for comeback appears to have just gotten even farther away, though.
USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick reports that the Sharks have waived the 31-year-old West just four games into his tenure with the club, putting the career of the former St. Joseph's standout — who last played in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011-12 season — in a "most precarious position."
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The Vince Carter story, starting around the midpoint of his third season in the NBA, will always remain a complicated one. Vince will retire in the next year or so as a top-25 all time scorer, he’ll have made eight All-Star games, and if his 10-1 Grizzlies keep up their winnin’ ways, possibly a championship ring.
He’ll also be known for squandering the above the rim promise his first two years showcased, choosing to live life as a perimeter type. On top of that, there is the question of his final year and a half in Toronto, one that saw him just about outright sabotaging a disappointing Raptors squad that thought they had a franchise cornerstone in the man once nicknamed “Air Canada.”
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: The Pattern of Basketball. Jonathan Tjarks on how the Utah Jazz have played the long game in rebuilding, and now have a roster full of long-limbed, athletic, intriguing and young two-way prospects to show for it.
PF: Isiah Was a Prophet. Chris Gaerig offers a defense of the much-maligned Josh Smith, who has changed "his shot distribution for the better," but whose continued struggles for the Detroit Pistons might have quite a bit to do with new head coach and personnel boss Stan Van Gundy "banging his head against a the same wall that Mo Cheeks and John Loyer did" with his frontcourt rotation.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
After what feels like decades of debates over whether the San Antonio Spurs are fun or boring, I think we've reached a point where the most vociferous folks on either side of the aisle have mostly stopped caring. (Ground-down apathy: the world's premier argument-ender!) That's nice, because it allows us to just look at the Spurs for what they are — a very good team that started a bit slowly after opening the season celebrating last year's title, that has picked up steam over the past week (a 4-1 record with road wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, outscoring opponents by 10.3 points per 100 possessions in that span), that faces another stern test when visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday ... and that sometimes does fun stuff.